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Technology talk for family offices: the impending my economy and personalisation for uhnw clients by Neil Puri ,CEO, SRL Global

Date: 02 Nov 2011

Citywealth

“Things are definitely changing in technology. Our clients are multi billion family offices and pension funds who are trying to embrace technology. History has shown us that Web 1.0 was hotmail era and so all about clicks and refreshes; Web 2.0 bought the era of blogs and interacting. In the finance area it meant forums, chat rooms and dealing desks. Web 3.0 with HDML5 means everything is being standardised. It’s all still very new but it’s all about one language across all platforms and personalising the tech’ experience. It will include lots of dragging and dropping rather than generic information. So for instance with market data, if you take the market price of Vodaphone, with early stage internet you would simply see what it is. In Web 2.0 you can send messages and chat about it and in Web 3.0 which we have included in our software, its all information that is relevant to Vodaphone. There is a real demand, for personalisation. It’s a genuine, desire to have a much more focused solution like the shopping spaces Amazon has. It will include books you like to read, groups you want to belong to. There are many applications and everything is generally app’ based. Businesses are going to start pushing the tech’ boundaries.”

“We saw an under investment in the last decade and there were problems with integration of software which often became shelf ware. We decided to avoid these problems and so have invested the capital to build a system that is fully integrated with open architecture. As a tech’ supplier we have to be application agnostic and be ready to have people access information or download big files on computers phones or iPads without it taking up resources.”

“Security is an ongoing problem. The solution we use is our own private ‘cloud’. We send data to apps, encrypted then a thin client manages this. The advantages are you can be smart, you can send strings of numbers that are anonymous, then the thin app decrypts it.”

Explaining cloud computing

“With cloud computing there is immense computer power that you can tap and resource as you need. There is heavy investment going into that space. If you are an enterprise, historically you have had a couple of challenges, running infrastructure like servers is expensive (we have several hundred), we have all this hardware that just becomes obsolete almost from the moment you’ve bought it. Even if you use all of this, you only use it in bursts. Where the cloud comes in is it acts like a multi tenancy hub, basically as a co-op between you and others who share the resource so you bring down fixed costs. It’s effectively outsourced, servers. You access the apps you need and that’s all you are paying for. It brings down the usage cost and is a very smart way for a medium size business to scale up to a bigger entity without substantial cost.”

“Your most vunerable point is communicating from the cloud to the client. So there are public clouds and business are going to use private clouds which have high standard security. So for example you can see everything that is happening in your structure and put in an authentication to see nothing has changed during delivery like a time stamp which adds a foot print, and tracks where the information goes.”

Retail ideas moving into the business space

The way information and the web are moving is to an “its all about you” or “my economy” which is the buzz phrase. It will be specific to users with tools that impact them. Sometimes recommendations on website like Amazon don’t work but sometimes they are good. It looks at your buying and social patterns. Pattern recognition techniques can be applied to business as well. So in an investment or stock it could supply recommendations. There is lots of paralysis by analysis – too much information – but all people want to know is how this affects me and what are the best recommendations.”

Family offices and large scale tech innovation

“Family offices are investing in a whole pool of managers who could be anywhere around the world. They now have a single enterprise data app’ that allows them to own the assets on their balance sheet, then notionally fund, every time they invest. It’s all machine driven and gives them ultimate control. So they get to see what’s happening and means they have one source for accounting and treasury. It can be inter-firm perhaps as a club sharing investment information through a private network.”

Michael Dell investing in “Dark Rooms”

“Dark rooms are popping up everywhere (new tech development companies) and there are lots of focused teams working on small projects with lots of technology people surfacing and individuals like Michael dell who are understood to be financing them. Things aren’t standing still. Its an interesting time for business and technology.”

“Ultimately tech is now all about standardisation. Standards for everything, so software can talk to each other, you don’t have to be locked into a single vendor.”

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